|Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities cover by Paul Carrick|
Not only will it see the release of the Aklonomicon, compiled and edited by madcap talented Aklo Press founder Ivan McCann and the legendary Joseph S. Pulver, but it will also go down in barnacled annals of history as the month that saw the release of another monumental tome, titled Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities, edited by Danish Lovecraftian/horror fiction writer, editor, publisher, and Cyclopean pillar Henrik Sandbeck Harksen, released via his extremely active H. Harken Productions, which has several fantastic books coming out this year, including The Eltdown Shards by Franklyn Searight and the Lovecraftian anthology Whisperers in Darkness, among others, listed here.
My personal tie between the Aklonomicon and Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities also extends to the artistic realm, as Paul Carrick - the conjurer who unleashed the cover above - also provided original artwork for and based on my two stories in the Aklonomicon. As mentioned previously in The Cosmicomicon, I almost can't believe that my writing is now adorned, in even a small way, by Paul's art, which has been a favorite of mine since I first stumbled across the name "Cthulhu" in some tattered tome so many gibbous moons ago. Paul is a true Lovecraftian legend, and a proud ambassador and trailblazer in the visual interpretation of things often left partially/vaguely described. He's the terrifying Cliff's Notes of Cosmic Horror and Dark Fantasy, allowing the reader a mind-bending cheat sheet in the endeavor to visualize the unnameable, helping our feeble human minds to correlate a dangerous amount of its contents. What would we do without magicians like him?
Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities has been flying under the radar for quite some time, as Henrik isn't one to flash his impressive literary plumage. So, being the often overly enthusiastic fanboy of all of my esteemed colleagues, I'll do the shouting for him, by releasing the Table of Contents below, from Henrik's recent blog on the subject:
“Dancer of the Dying” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
“The Neighbors Upstairs” by John Goodrich
“Carcosapunk” by Glynn Owen Barrass
“Architect Eyes” by Thomas Strømsholt
“Slou” by Robert Tangiers
“Ozeelah’s Lake” by Morten Carlsen
“The Statement of Frank Elwood” by Pete Rawlik
“In the Shadow of Bh’Yhlun” by Ian Davey
“The Screamer” by T. E. Grau
“Night Life” by Henrik Sandbeck Harksen
“the guilt of each … at the end…” by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
As you can see, the ToC of this anthology is noticeably sparse, reflecting a devotion to showcasing larger works in the anthology format (penned by an exciting line-up of well known names, and some that are new to my eye). This focus includes my story, "The Screamer," which is my longest piece to date, and perhaps the most personal, as it deals with the strangeness (and worse) that can fester amid the white collar, office drone high rises of west Los Angeles. "Urban" doesn't necessarily just apply to gritty streets, blighted neighborhoods, and gangland gun battles, as a deeper horror can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
I'll go into a bit more detail about the story once the tome is finally released, and I once again send out a barrage of electronic smoke signals to possibly annoy and hopefully delight. But for now, I wanted to get this glimpse of what's coming for you out into the ether, and plant a spore in your brain as we creep toward the anticipated birth of Urban Cthulhu: Nightmare Cities.
Watch this space for the release announcement, and in the meantime, hazard an occasional look out those cold, office building windows. You never know what could be taking place on the other side of the glass while we all face our computerized headmasters, counting down the minutes...